Here is a simple healthy recipe that adults and children alike will love. It’s perfect for the baskets of hedgerow fruit that you can collect this season.
Fruit leathers are simple to make and you can use whatever fruit you have to hand. The longest part of the process is the oven baking part (or you can use a dehydrator) which can take several hours, but then you can leave that to happen overnight or have a nice cup of tea and get on with the rest of your day to come back to sweet loveliness.
All those blackberries around now are perfect for making leathers but you can use any type of fruit and mix them up to include the flavours you want. If you’ve saved your harvest and have frozen fruit in the freezer then you can use that too. I add some spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla essence/seeds to mine which is nice to bring the flavours to life.
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4 cups of fruit will fill a very large baking tray, so if you want less just reduce the recipe accordingly.
Fruit Leather Rolls
- 4 cups of fruit
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Maple syrup/honey to taste
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Vanilla paste/2 vanilla pods seeds
If fresh from the hedgerow, thoroughly wash the fruit and remove and stalks and pips/stones. If using apples, remove the cores.
It’s a good idea to taste your fruit to see how sweet it is naturally to decide if you do need to add syrup and how much you would like to add during the later stages.
Put the fruit into a pan, add the water and then bring to the boil. Stir the fruit, cover the pot and turn right down to let is simmer for 10 mins.
Taste the fruit to see how sweet it is. Add your chosen sweetener a tablespoon or so at a time. Stir and taste again to decide if you wish to add more sweetner.
Add the lemon juice and spices and stir in.
Let it simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and then you can use either a potato masher or when cooler transfer to a blender to puree the fruit. It needs to be smooth with all the fruit blended.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. If you prefer to have no seeds, then you can use a sieve to strain the mixture through whilst pouring it onto the tray. I prefer the seeds as they are a little texture to the leathers which are nice to nibble on. Spread the puree out evenly.
Place into your oven on a very low temperature around 75 degrees or as low as possible. They will take somewhere between 6-8 hours dependent on the temperature of the oven. It’s best to take a lower temperature and a longer baking period as a higher temperature may end up burning the puree or you’ll end up with fruit chips as opposed to leathers!
It’s ready when the puree is no longer tacky to the touch.
Now the fun part! Slice the dried out puree with a knife. You can then begin to separate the puree from the greaseproof paper. It will just peel away easily.
Roll them up whilst warm, and then leave them to set on a tray to cool.
They will last for a couple of weeks in an air-tight container or in the fridge.
*Nice fruit mixes ideas: Blackberries, apples, damsons and elderberries. Plums and apples. Raspberries and mint.